My 180 Gallon "Pair" Themed Build Thread

MrsBugmaster

Well-Known Member
View Badges
Joined
Dec 3, 2013
Messages
619
Reaction score
1,319
Location
Indiana
It’s about time I started a build thread on my tank. This first post is going to be long but, it has been a few years since I started my 180 FOWLR tank with lots of ups and downs! So here we go. I started the hobby in 2008 and had a few smaller tanks throughout the years (10 to 50 gal). Then in Sept of 2013 I bought a used 180 gallon complete setup. It came with an external return pump that was extremely noisy. My husband said I had to do something about the noise or get rid of it the tank! I did my research, and after arguing with my husband over the price of this pump, and some tears, (tears always help to get my way) I bought a Royal Exclusiv Red Dragon 3, 80 watt pump(he did say it needed to be silent, and nothing more silent then a red dragon!) and upgraded the skimmer to a Reef Octopus Elite 200int with dc pump. Problem solved, tank is near silent and husband is happy!

I barely started stocking the tank when in Nov of 2013 the tank started leaking a little. So, after more tears, I bought a new AGA 180 tank (same as old leaking tank so it would be plug and play as far as set up.)

I slowly stocked the tank over a couple of years (I QT everything, one fish at a time so, it took a while) with a tinkeri butterfly, pakistan butterfly, fox face, blue striped butterfly, pair of watanabei angelfish, white tail tang, a couple of shrimp gobies with shrimp. And a few other smaller fish, I don’t remember what all I had back then. All was going well until the spring/summer of 2017, then fish started slowly dying. Something slipped through my qt process. I took one fish to my exotic vet and she diagnosed my fish with fish pox, (fish herpes). No cure! It is a slow killer and over the next 8 to 9 months I lost all fish. I was devastated to see all my fish die and nothing I could do but start over.

So, start over is what I did.! I tore down the tank and bleached and disinfected everything to get a new start. In December of 2017 I started restocking. Since I was starting over, I had an idea to make this a “pair” themed tank. Meaning most fish would be in pairs or groups. Thought it would be cool to see how they interact with each other like in the wild. I did a lot and I mean a lot of research for this project! Oh, by the way, not all fish live in pairs or groups. Some just meet up for mating purposes and then part ways. And some remain partners for life.

That’s all for today, I will post more later on my current stock list.

IMG_1533.JPG IMG_0912.JPG
 
Last edited:
https://www.omegasea.net/
OP
MrsBugmaster

MrsBugmaster

Well-Known Member
View Badges
Joined
Dec 3, 2013
Messages
619
Reaction score
1,319
Location
Indiana
Wish I could take credit for the stand but it was part of the original used set up I purchased. The stand was made by the previous owner though. Which by the way, stand is the only thing left for the original set up! Everything else was replaced, tank, lights, skimmer, sump, return pump. One lesson I learned was to not buy a "old" used set up ever again!

The stand is over sized with false end with a door on that side so most of the controllers are hidden in there. I will take pictures of it later. Right now everything is kind of a mess with cords going everywhere. You see, my Red Dragon controller went out on my return pump on Aug. 12th. My new one will be in today! So I had to take the heater out of the sump and put in the tank with some extra power heads to keep everything alive until my new pump arrives. Since the 80 watt has been discontinued I decided to go with the 100 watt "pressure" rated pump. I don't really need a pressure rated pump but it was the only one with the same output size as the 80 watt so, it will be plug and play with no plumbing changes. And being the same price as the "flow" pump it was a no brainer. Their "flow" style pump has a bigger outlet so I would need to replumb a little and didn't want to do that. The tank has been sitting with no filtration for too long already.

In the meantime, since I have no working sump, I took this opportunity to take everything out and give my sump a good cleaning!
 

motortrendz

Valuable Member
View Badges
Joined
Mar 31, 2011
Messages
1,770
Reaction score
3,450
Location
Lacey NJ
nice I read the title and thought it would be a pair of 180...haha I think I was projecting there.
this is going to be a fun build. excited to see your stock list.
BTW that is a very nice stand!
I agree the stand is really nice. I was saying that as I looked at the pics. Looking forward to see where this goes. :)
 
OP
MrsBugmaster

MrsBugmaster

Well-Known Member
View Badges
Joined
Dec 3, 2013
Messages
619
Reaction score
1,319
Location
Indiana
are you going to keep it a FOWLR or go reef?
I love reefs but a good FOWLR still have be just as amazing + you get to have all the fish we cant. :D
Keeping it a fowlr, angels and butterflies mostly.
 

NY_Caveman

likes words, fish and arbitrary statistics
View Badges
Joined
Sep 8, 2017
Messages
14,281
Reaction score
78,965
Location
New York
It’s about time I started a build thread on my tank. This first post is going to be long but, it has been a few years since I started my 180 FOWLR tank with lots of ups and downs! So here we go. I started the hobby in 2008 and had a few smaller tanks throughout the years (10 to 50 gal). Then in Sept of 2013 I bought a used 180 gallon complete setup. It came with an external return pump that was extremely noisy. My husband said I had to do something about the noise or get rid of it the tank! I did my research, and after arguing with my husband over the price of this pump, and some tears, (tears always help to get my way) I bought a Royal Exclusiv Red Dragon 3, 80 watt pump(he did say it needed to be silent, and nothing more silent then a red dragon!) and upgraded the skimmer to a Reef Octopus Elite 200int with dc pump. Problem solved, tank is near silent and husband is happy!

I barely started stocking the tank when in Nov of 2013 the tank started leaking a little. So, after more tears, I bought a new AGA 180 tank (same as old leaking tank so it would be plug and play as far as set up.)

I slowly stocked the tank over a couple of years (I QT everything, one fish at a time so, it took a while) with a tinkeri butterfly, pakistan butterfly, fox face, blue striped butterfly, pair of watanabei angelfish, white tail tang, a couple of shrimp gobies with shrimp. And a few other smaller fish, I don’t remember what all I had back then. All was going well until the spring/summer of 2017, then fish started slowly dying. Something slipped through my qt process. I took one fish to my exotic vet and she diagnosed my fish with fish pox, (fish herpes). No cure! It is a slow killer and over the next 8 to 9 months I lost all fish. I was devastated to see all my fish die and nothing I could do but start over.

So, start over is what I did.! I tore down the tank and bleached and disinfected everything to get a new start. In December of 2017 I started restocking. Since I was starting over, I had an idea to make this a “pair” themed tank. Meaning most fish would be in pairs or groups. Thought it would be cool to see how they interact with each other like in the wild. I did a lot and I mean a lot of research for this project! Oh, by the way, not all fish live in pairs or groups. Some just meet up for mating purposes and then part ways. And some remain partners for life.

That’s all for today, I will post more later on my current stock list.

IMG_1533.JPG IMG_0912.JPG
Really looks great! Loved reading your story.
 
OP
MrsBugmaster

MrsBugmaster

Well-Known Member
View Badges
Joined
Dec 3, 2013
Messages
619
Reaction score
1,319
Location
Indiana
Ok, so instead of the stocking list, I think I will first start with the equipment list.

Tank: 180 gallon AGA (All Glass Aquarium)
Sump: Trigger System Ruby Red Elite 36”
Return pump: Royal Exclusiv Red Dragon 3 100 watt pressure rated
Skimmer: Reef Octopus Elite 200int with dc pump.
Lights: 3 black box LED’s (bought used)
Auto Turf Scrubber: Turbo Aquatics L4
UV Sterilizer: AQUA-UV 120WATT (I now know it’s overkill. I let my LFS convince me that bigger was better when it comes to UV. I think he just wanted more money out of me. That’s another story in itself.) Hooked to a Sea Swirl via return pump.

Controller: AC JR. (older version but, hey, still works for what I need)
Powerheads: 2 Echo Tech MP40’s, 1 Maxspect Gyre XF 350 (just installed 2 weeks ago)
Heater: Finnex TH-S Series 300 Watt Titanium Heating Element (Hooked to controller)
Auto Top Off: Tunze Osmolator Universal 3155 Auto Top Off
RODI: BRS 7 stage (On well water and was using just RO because of high CO2 in well water so it would eat through DI resin in 3 weeks. So took off DI, and used RO only for a few years. After all it is fish only so why not. Having problems with water quality and algae so just last week added BRS’s CO2 buster upgrade kit. Too early to tell how this is going to work out. I will talk more about this later.)
Surge Protector: Tripp Lite Isobar 8 Outlet Surge Protector Power Strip (Just bought as Royal Exclusiv thinks a power surge fried the controller. Although I have my doubts, but I will be covered now if it happens again.)
 
https://www.omegasea.net/
OP
MrsBugmaster

MrsBugmaster

Well-Known Member
View Badges
Joined
Dec 3, 2013
Messages
619
Reaction score
1,319
Location
Indiana
Stocking the tank!
In December of 2017 I got a large 4 1/2" male Interruptus (assuming it is male due to its size). Made it through QT with no problems. The plan is to get a juvenile when one became available to make a pair. This fish is a seasonal fish collected only November through Feb/March. And hard to come by as a juvenile one! I know I will have to wait awhile to get one. Here he is in the DT.

IMG_1599copy.jpg IMG_1600.jpg
 
Last edited:
OP
MrsBugmaster

MrsBugmaster

Well-Known Member
View Badges
Joined
Dec 3, 2013
Messages
619
Reaction score
1,319
Location
Indiana
January 2018 I purchased a large 4 1/2" to 5" Gold Flake/Flagfin Hybird.
Here is a picture of him from Quality Marine site where he came from.The black on the top of the fin confirms he is a hybrid.

2101647.jpg


This is him in the bag when I picked him up at my LFS that ordered him for me.
26907360_2062089704067004_2027908316707779873_n.jpg

I questioned if this was the same fish as the black on top fin did not have as much black anymore. I was told that it can change over time and they had this fish for several months before I bought it. They guaranteed it was the hybrid. And that no two hybrid will look alike. For the price I paid , it better be the hybrid! LFS thought that it may be stress too and may color back up. So I brought him home!
 
OP
MrsBugmaster

MrsBugmaster

Well-Known Member
View Badges
Joined
Dec 3, 2013
Messages
619
Reaction score
1,319
Location
Indiana
After all my many hours of research I knew that angels start out as female and turn to male when they get larger, (opposite of clown fish) I knew I needed to get a juvenile in order to form a pair. In angles two juveniles will usually just fight so one needs to be bigger/older. Now I had to decide what would be best to pair him with, a gold flake or a flagfin. It is pretty much impossible to get a juvenile hybrid of this fish. After talking with other angel experts, they thought either one would work. So I decided on a goldflake since they were more readily available at the time. I had my LFS once again on the look out for me. Finally in March one was available so it was ordered for me. Since 6 weeks had now passed since I got the hybrid and was getting ready to come out of qt soon, I set up a second qt tank right beside the hybrid tank. I had a tight cover on the second tank so hopefully no cross contamination would happen. I wanted them to be able to see each other and get use to one another and in hopes that the juvenile would stay a female.
Here they are in QT.
IMG_1622 (2).jpg


IMG_1624 (2).jpg


IMG_1625 (2).jpg


They immediately started checking each other out with no signs of aggression. It was hard to wait the full qt period before adding them together. Patience, patience, patience! Most of the time they were both together like this during Qt, which was very encouraging.
 
OP
MrsBugmaster

MrsBugmaster

Well-Known Member
View Badges
Joined
Dec 3, 2013
Messages
619
Reaction score
1,319
Location
Indiana
The day the were ready to added to the same tank!
I first put a divider in the tank to observe them more closely and make sure there was no fighting. As you can see from the pictures there was some posturing from the hybrid. But nothing major.

IMG_1688copy.jpg IMG_1689copy.jpg IMG_1690copy.jpg IMG_1692copy.jpg
 
OP
MrsBugmaster

MrsBugmaster

Well-Known Member
View Badges
Joined
Dec 3, 2013
Messages
619
Reaction score
1,319
Location
Indiana
After a couple days I removed the divider and they got along great. No more posturing, no fighting! Then after a couple more days I released them into my 55 gal grow out tank. I left them here for a couple months so they could become bonded before releasing them into the 180.
Here they are swimming together in the 55 gal tank.
IMG_2003 copy.jpg
IMG_2009copy.jpg


I also noticed the black on the hybrid dorsal fin was becoming even lighter. Kind of disappointing!
 
OP
MrsBugmaster

MrsBugmaster

Well-Known Member
View Badges
Joined
Dec 3, 2013
Messages
619
Reaction score
1,319
Location
Indiana
In the meantime, while these two are getting to know each other in the 55 gal, another LFS was getting a whole new store display tank and was selling all the fish in the current tank. He had a nice Mitratus Butterfly that he made me a deal on. He has had this fish for 11 years. So I brought him/her home. Now since this fish is so old I figured I would not even try to pair it up. So it will be a single fish. After qt it went into the 180.

IMG_E0907 copy.jpg
Mitratus butterfly.jpg
IMG_3660 copy.jpg
 
OP
MrsBugmaster

MrsBugmaster

Well-Known Member
View Badges
Joined
Dec 3, 2013
Messages
619
Reaction score
1,319
Location
Indiana
May 4th, 2018, I took a videos of the two after they were relesased out of the acclimation box. They stayed pretty close to each other or when seperated, they seemed to always swim back together as if they were checking up on each other.
 
Last edited:
OP
MrsBugmaster

MrsBugmaster

Well-Known Member
View Badges
Joined
Dec 3, 2013
Messages
619
Reaction score
1,319
Location
Indiana
Ok, so I figured it was time I get started on this build thread again.

My husband is getting tired of all the different qt tanks all over the basement so when I learned one of my LFS was getting all new display tanks in the store, I jumped on the opportunity to get a couple of his old tanks to set up as my new QT system. These are the kind of tanks that have built in dividers. I got two of them and stacked them and plumbed them together into one sump. I also put ball unions on each so I can shut one tank off completely if I want to isolate or run just one tank. My husband was thrilled to not have 4 different smaller tanks sitting all over and now confined to one area! And this will make my life so much more easier!! Maintaining 4 qt tanks and two display tanks was getting to be too much. Here are some pictures

Bleaching and cleaning them after I got them home.
QT3 (2).jpg


QT tanks set up.
QT system.jpg


QT system1.jpg
 
Corals.com

Is Reef Conservation/Stewardship a factor in your hobby decisions? (private poll)

  • Very Important

    Votes: 206 54.4%
  • Somewhat Imporatant

    Votes: 126 33.2%
  • Not Too Important

    Votes: 34 9.0%
  • Not Important At All

    Votes: 13 3.4%

Online statistics

Members online
2,491
Guests online
5,753
Total visitors
8,244
Top